I don’t know about you, but I have always been a big fan of this rule. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s when you drop some food on the floor or ground or somewhere else that is probably pretty gross, and if you pick it up before 5 seconds have passed, it’s still considered “safe” to eat (thought whether or not it’s POLITE to eat it, is probably another issue). This is a great rule. I mean, what if you JUST bought that piece of chocolate?! What if you really NEED that piece of chocolate!? Desperate times, 5 second rule. In my previous experience, the 5 second rule doesn’t apply to things that are liquid, or if you can see anything fuzzy on the food when you pick it up.
I’ve got various friends who adhere to this rule more or less. For some, it’s the ten second rule. For others, it’s the two second rule. For most, it’s only if the food dropped is dry and there’s no dirt or cat litter or whatever sticking to it. For some, hey, those carpet fuzzies come right off, you know?
And so, I went about my merry way, telling myself (as all of us who practice this rule tell ourselves) that bacteria can’t POSSIBLY get on my food within 5 seconds. Right? RIGHT?!?!!?
Sigh. Science. Most of the time it’s awesome, but today it has shattered my treasured 5 second rule.
No bacteria on there, right? RIGHT?!?!?!?! …but I’m hungry…It's STILL GOOD!!! (Source)
Dawson et al. “Residence time and food contact time effects on transfer of Salmonella Typhimurium from tile, wood, and carpet: testing the five-second rule”. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 2007.
(These authors are hilarious and awesome because they cited Wikipedia for the definition of the 5 second rule. Hopefully they went in and edited it when they were done to show their findings.)
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